Diablo III ignites Blizzard Paris event

[UPDATE] Following years of rumors, Blizzard reveals long-awaited third installment in groundbreaking RPG franchise at Worldwide Invitational event; video from event inside.

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PARIS--Blizzard fans have lined up around the block of the Porte de Versailles Exposition Center in Paris, hoping to become among the first in the world to see the newly announced game from the popular developer/publisher. The 2008 Blizzard Invitational marks the first time that the company has held a fan event in Europe; during the two-day event, fans will be able to participate in tournaments, check out playable versions of two Blizzard works in progress: World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King and Starcraft II, attend sessions dedicated to various Blizzard games, and, most importantly, find out all about the next game the company is working on.

The Blizzard event is taking up Hall 5 of the Porte de Versailles Exposition Center, with two levels of the hall devoted to all things Blizzard. Hundreds of fans poured into the center once the event opened at 9 a.m., looking to get hands on time with Starcraft II and the Lich King expansion. In addition to huge areas devoted entirely to those games, there is also a gaming area devoted to the latest WOW expansion, The Burning Crusade. In addition, there are two stages devoted to competitive tournaments, as well as a Blizzard store, where fans can stock up on all things Blizzard.

Of course, the big news of the day is the announcement of Diablo III, and GameSpot was on the scene at the Expo Center for it. You can see the archive of our live minute-to-minute coverage of the show below.

[UPDATE] Since the initial showing, Blizzard has confirmed that Diablo III is being developed for PC and Mac only "for now," with the aim being for it to run on a broad set of systems rather than just high-end hardware. When asked for a release window, all anyone from Blizzard is willing to say is simply: "When it's ready."

Diablo III has been in development for about four years, and now has a team of 50-55 developers dedicated to it, according to Jay Wilson, the game's lead designer. The game will offer drop-in/drop-out co-op play over Battle.net throughout; though it will be doable as a solo player, gamers will be able to bring friends in at any stage.

Although the game is obviously not yet rated, Blizzard confirmed to GameSpot that it plans to stay true to the series' M-rated roots. The company is aiming for an ESRB M rating, and a PEGI 16+ in Europe. For more of our impressions of the game, including new information from today's Diablo III gameplay-design session, check out the just-posted first-look preview of the game.

Welcome to Paris! The opening ceremony starts in five minutes here, and excitement is building... The stage is backed with a massive picture of Arthas, Diablo, and the Zerg Queen.
Welcome to Paris! The opening ceremony starts in five minutes here, and excitement is building... The stage is backed with a massive picture of Arthas, Diablo, and the Zerg Queen.

[11:42] A smattering of applause as some (presumably) Blizzard devs walked in and took a seat in the front row...

[11:43] Here we go...quite exciting. Screens have come alive with WOW characters and artwork.

[11:46] After a brief intro, the opening ceremony has begun. A host comes out with translator... Welcome to the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational!

[11:48] Managing director of Blizzard has taken the stage to welcome the attendees.

Blizzard's MD thanks the crowd.
Blizzard's MD thanks the crowd.

[11:50] The hosts inadvertently try to kick the MD off the stage...but not before he declares the 2008 Invitational open!

[11:52] More Blizzard introductions include Rob Pardo, Mike Morhaime, and more...rounds of applause for all. You go, VP of Global Human Resources!

[11:54] Eight Starcraft pro gamers are welcomed onstage. First four are from Korea, natch.

[11:55] The other four pro SC players represent Germany, Poland, China, and USA.

[11:57] Warcraft III pro gamers are coming on stage now, representing France (big applause for the home guy), Korea, China, Netherlands, Germany, and Sweden.

[11:59] Teams competing in World of Warcraft Arena tourney are up on stage now.

The first of the WOW arena teams take the stage.
The first of the WOW arena teams take the stage.

[12:01] European WOW Arena competitors now... There's a ton of them.

[12:03] Asian teams now. Sixteen teams in all are taking part in the tourney. Not a one is dressed in costume. Bummer.

[12:05] Blizzard CEO and cofounder Mike Morhaime is taking the stage now.

[12:07] This is the first time the Blizzard Invitational has been held outside of Korea. Morhaime says it's also the biggest European gathering of Blizzard gamers ever.

[12:08] Mike recounts market research that said WOW wouldn't work in Europe. Looks like the analysts were wrong!

[12:09] Burning Crusade sold 2.4 million copies in 24 hours when it came out, says Morhaime. He also talks about Activision/Blizzard merger as a "leveling up" for the company.

[12:11] Showing video of last year's Blizzard Invitational in Seoul now, where they introduced Starcraft II. This is all fun stuff, but can we skip ahead to the new game now?

[12:13] I'm wondering how this year's Invitational stacks up to the 2007 Invitational event in terms of attendance. Last year was packed, but there's a ton of folks here in Paris too.

Mike Morhaime on stage.
Mike Morhaime on stage.

[12:15] Dude with guitar comes on stage...playing that familiar strummed-guitar Diablo theme! Could this be it?!

[12:15] "It is my pleasure to present to you the world premiere of Blizzard's newest game..."

[12:16] Flame on a stick... "It has been said..." Flame reaches candles... "That in the end of all things..." Candles mounted on skulls... "We would find a new beginning."

[12:17] "But as the shadow once again crawls across our world..." Gorgeous castle setting...scorched landscape...another city shown...now a nighttime scene.

[12:17] Teeming hordes of bad-looking dudes...war machines. A sword hurls through the air. And there he is...DIABLO!

[12:18] Diablo III logo appears on screen. There you go, folks, the mystery game revealed!

[12:18] Jay Wilson, lead designer of Diablo III, takes the stage.

[12:18] They're going to show a demo here in a bit.

[12:19] Better RPG, and a better action game. Jay reminds us that this is a work in progress. "Now, who wants to crush some demons?" (Raises hand.)

[12:19] Demo kicks off with a barbarian in an evil-looking dungeon... Demons crawling up the side of a wall to attack him from all sides. He's slicing and dicing.

[12:20] Gorgeous 3D renderings of enemies and characters. Pace seems quick but maybe a tad slower than Diablo II?

[12:21] Jay is introducing the barbarian ("one of several classes you'll be able to play"). New improvements: hot bar where you can use skills. It's where the potion bar used to be. Can quick swap between skills using mouse wheel.

[12:22] Showed a little of the inventory screen. Barbarian takes hold of two axes, one with frost enchant, the other electricity...can freeze and stun enemies. He launches into some creepy snake-looking enemies.

Whirlwhind's back...
Whirlwhind's back...

[12:28] Okay... Wi-Fi gave out. Here's a recap of what we missed: custom loot that looks hot as H-E-*-*, whirlwind skill is in effect for barbarians, environments are interactive (you can use walls to take down enemies), and they just showed the quest giver from Diablo II. Same voice actor, too!

[12:29] More on that armor: treasure chests won't give full sets of armor, but the armor shown is really cool.

[12:30] Barbarian now in a dungeon area, where cultists are summoning nasty, fat demon who blows away the summoners as soon as he appears. Barbarian using ranged and close attacks to take him down, as well as charge attack. Nice, bloody finishing move takes down the fat guy.

[12:30] New class: witch doctor. Control over disease, summon pets, and control minds of enemies.

[12:31] Now that we have the barb and the good witch doctor together, witch doctor casts locust swarm that devours enemies. Swarm consumes bad guys and spreads automatically...good tactic against mobs.

[12:32] First pet is the mongrel...can cast locust swarm on them to give them attack bonus.

[12:32] Witch doctor is reminiscent of necromancer, not in visual design, but in ability to summon pets (like skeletons for necro).

[12:33] Even without pets, witch doctor is capable of dealing with surprises... Horrify skill will cause enemies to run like little scared girls.

The barbarian with a new class: the witch doctor.
The barbarian with a new class: the witch doctor.

[12:34] Mass-confuse spell will turn enemies against each other.

[12:34] You've seen walls of ice and fire...but how about a WALL OF ZOMBIE. The witch doctor rules.

[12:35] Witch doctor and barbarian working together now. There are many things dying onscreen. Now they bring female versions of barbarian and witch doctor. About time the ladies get their chance!

The female character models are introduced.
The female character models are introduced.

[12:36] Demo is almost done...one more fight to see... Quartet runs into area with living trees. Firebombs going off everywhere from the two witch doctors; barbarians are cutting things up like crazy. Could we see a boss?

[12:37] YES. Huge quadruped demon wearing massive spiked gloves over his hands erupts out of a wall.

[12:37] This enemy looks to be about 10 times the size of Diablo from Diablo II. Really new sense of scale in terms of enemies and the action.

[12:38] And he's down with a thundering crash. Crowd erupts with appreciative applause.

The big beastie...
The big beastie...

[12:39] So there you go, an amazing demo of DIII. Any other surprises left?

[12:42] Onstage hosts are doing shout-outs now to folks from various countries. Hrmm, not much of an ending...

[12:44] Ah, the finale. A fire dancer takes the stage, performing to what sounds like the theme to the just-announced Diablo III.

[12:46] More dancers, more fire. Music sounds just like the theme to Diablo II, with more percussion to give it some movement.

Remember, don't try this at home.
Remember, don't try this at home.

[12:52] Okay, there you go, that's the end of the opening ceremonies. No platforms were announced for Diablo III, but we'll be getting as much information as we can on the game for the rest of the weekend. Be sure to stay tuned for more of our Blizzard Invitational coverage all weekend. Au revoir!

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Tebbit

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Sheez, Diablo 3, Starcraft 2...... the stars are aligned!!!! This can only mean an early 2009 release for DNF, am I right!?

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froggyisland

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oh it'l be fun if it's on wii ;D

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Blixke

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Finally d3. Fan of the series, but ill never ever buy a new gaming pc. had to much bad luck ion the past with the pc's. Consoles are more trustworthy. I got a wii, xbox360 and ps3. if d3 comes on one of these ill play it! otherwise, its a shame buti hope u guys at least enjoy it!

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KaoaAlakane

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Something to bring me back a lil bit to pc gaming. my comp hasnt had a workut since i quit playin LOD last year when i bought a 360.

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zygaun

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Amaaaazing, I can't wait!! The Diablo series is superb and have racked up countless addictive hours on.

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kaziechameleon

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I have yet to play diablo, but i just bought the battle chest, so lets find out how good this game really is.

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Citical

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One of my favorite cosmetic/artistic touches i liked about diablo was it's awesome sense that you are in hell (at least the dungeon areas). You know, amazon corpses tied to a post, blood splatters everywhere, demonic architecture, more blood and corpses. I didn't see it in the demo, but i hope it makes it to the final product, because it doesn't look as dark and hellish as it did before.

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Digital_DJ_00

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Diablo III is gonna be the game that everyone will want to play when it comes out.

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enix165

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Diablo 3? Oooooooo...might have to get it and whoop some demon butt! I just hope they make a sequel to the REAL Warcraft when they're done this and Starcraft 2, not more of that WoW junk. I need some more fantasy RTS action, not a crappy MMO, dangit!

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smbius

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To Link_86_1 about GTA4: Nobody cares. People are gonna buy Diablo III. Period.

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Link_86

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I have to honestly wonder if this is as big as GTA IV or Bigger. Only time will tell I suppose.

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sidious

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I know PC gamers are thrilled to hear about Diablo 3... I am happy for them. But I had so hopped to get some Diablo love for the X-Box 360/ PS3... or even DS. I would be happy with a DS Wi Fi enabled Diablo game. One can only dream...

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qwrqwr

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Omfg people this game uses warcraft 3's engine to make it. I can't wait for this game. But all I have to say is if you can run warcfraft 3 you can run this.

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muffinmanjedi

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Screw WOW lich king! DIABLO III!!!! Can't come sooner!!!

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strawberry9

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I WANT IT NOWWWWWWW... lol... plus I just wana know how good of a computer u need for this game... cuz IM gona need a few upgrades

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ChristianKiss

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Amazing interface, gorgeous 3D engine, fast-paced RPG Action, multiplayer and, the most important, Blizzard's quality. I'll patiently wait for D3, no matter how much time the developers will take.

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Smiley451

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well, think about it. they kinda ruined PC gaming with WoW but i guess that gave them a whole but load of money and now they're redeeming themselves with two of the coolest lookin games ever!!! DIABLO III FOR THE WIND!!!!!!

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TheBestGamer758

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All hail Blizzard the savior of pc gaming!!!!

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Lycen

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I quess this means I have to pick up Diablo 2 for the first time, yay for pin cheap games :D

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WMDfreeman99

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UGH...i loved d1 and d2 LOD. Heck I stil play D2LOD. I just know I will hav eto get a new PC for this...Still can not wait

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gandalf_storm

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I`m drooling like a starving baby looking at a farleys rusk... Downloading the gameplay trailer as i type this, drool drool.... :)

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zaphod_b

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I guess its almost time for a new PC!

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duhNeighbour

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PC gaming will never die. PC ftw!

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combatsoldier

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THIS HAS BEEN LONG OVERDUE. THANKYOU BLIZZARD!

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slickr

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yay, looks amazing. go go diablo 3

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Hoenir

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I loved the Diablo series as it was a great dark & gritty action-adventure game, but is it just me or does the game look way too much like WOW. I mean that's great and all for the Warcraft franchise but Diablo had its own distinct look and too me this isn't it. Granted its still earliy so we will have to see but I just hope Diablo hasn't lost its own identity.

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mf1986

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hehe the barbarian gone old, and now we have a shaman too :). i play wow and in the gameplay clip, i could see that they are bringing some stuff from wow, the skillbar, weapon enchants, big bosses :).

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DAOWAce

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[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

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mf1986

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Blizz was never famous for its graphics, but they make great gameplay that is fun to play over and over, and that is all i want. if ppl was graphics with half baked gameplay play X3.

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Makhdoom82

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Diablo 2 was a great sequel and this one looks encouraging as well !!!

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Covert8700

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Diablo series are just like World of warcraft, NO GOOD!!!

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businessfox

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Diablo 3 is a must have game for PC users..... Buy that game it's a great title.

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furrylilmonster

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About time Blizzard, I've been waiting for this game for years. Looks amazing, cant wait :D

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reader295

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sounds good

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rienzi

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This is a really great News, for long time i wait for this moment. Blizzard Rock

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japanesegoth

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holy crap. crazy stuff like this always happens when i go away on vacation.

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Ranteal

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Tell me about it. I thought the plot was a little out there myself.

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Kez1984

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"Already played the demo, and it was terrible. The whole point of the game is protecting your restaraunt from the irish. Thats nothing like the first 2 Diablos." lol?

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Agent00X

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OMG! Finally its here! I haven't been this exited since I found the secret cow level that doesn't exist in the second one! But where is starcraft 2!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??! How much longer must we wait! Why must blizzard anounce a game over a year before it comes out!

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LAntichristo

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I am so happy!!! I think I peed myself a little when I found out!!!

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marco0798

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FINALY under 1 year to go man iv been waiting YEARS and its nearly here.... just need to survive the next few months

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WeaponX23

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I can't wait for this game!! Actually, I can wait until I build my new system...

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Cannabis64

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Blizzard is kinda overloading i think but this is still awesome. they kinda left ya hangin in d2. i hope they finish sc2 tho... dont go the way of ghost....

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Ranteal

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Why did they say it will take place in San Francisco? Isnt that a little off from part 2 that took place in New York. I hope they bring back Ramon the pusher, he was the best character.

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CVM_123

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playing with the mouse looks difficult

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FunkinX

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Ah! Fresh meat!

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SpareJesus

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mier2003: A few of the original Diablo members from Blizzard worked on Hellgate: London. But that's besides the point. They were completely different games published by totally different companies. The only link to the original Blizzard was just those couple of members. That doesn't mean Hellgate: London was a fiasco in terms of either Blizzard or Diablo.

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kickyourq

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world of diablo ftw!

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Ranteal

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Already played the demo, and it was terrible. The whole point of the game is protecting your restaraunt from the irish. Thats nothing like the first 2 Diablos.

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bibliomaniac15

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They're going to take forever fine tuning the game, but it'll be worth it.

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